many of the aspects of secretary of state Alan Milburn's speech to
the annual social services conference yesterday (see LGCnet).
of older people from hospital is delayed by a lack of capacity in social
Alison King, chair of the LGA's social affairs and health executive said: 'We don't believe that penalising local councils in this way will encourage better partnership working. The LGA is very worried by these proposals.'
Association of Directors of Social Services president Michael Leadbetter
said: 'At our recent executive council meeting, directors agreed that we
should continue to influence government's policy through active discussion
and participation. We recognise, along with the secretary of state, that
partnership is not always comfortable or easy.'
The associations broadly agreed with the government's decision to reduce the
amount of ring-fenced grant awarded to social services, as well as Mr
Milburn's outlining of his department's plans to introduce children's
Cllr King said:
'There's much we can welcome in the minister's announcements. However, we
are keen to discuss these plans in much further detail. Local authorities
must be free to experiment with new ways of delivering services that will
address the unique needs of their own communities.'
Michael Leadbetter said that the government's proposals, while needing flesh
still to be put on their bones, represents the sort of thinking that
directors of social services have already been taking forward with
colleagues in the LGA and the NHS Confederation. Developing ways in which
all agencies can be bound in to arrangements which put children at the
centre of their thinking and activity is going to be a central task for
local authorities and social services in the coming years.
Both associations also welcomed government announcements concerning mental
health services for children and adolescents (CAMHS).